Horacio Ferreira
General Manager

Smart Well Testing

Tue, 01/22/2013 - 14:43

In a country like Mexico, where Pemex requires that any new technology to be introduced to the oil and gas industry must be tested on Mexican soil before it can be implemented, well testing is a key service. As Horacio Ferreira, the company’s General Manager explains that work with Pemex began in its South Region, and has since expanded to cover onshore, offshore and subsea work. “We feel that we have many opportunities in Mexico since reservoir management and production optimization are high priorities at many fields. Well testing plays a key role in these two areas, since we have the tools to measure the effectiveness of new techniques, technologies and strategies.”

“We are very proud of the fact that we consider ourselves a world leader in well testing, thanks to the non-conventional  multiphase meters we use in partnership with a Norwegian company,” Ferreira explains. Having built a service plan around the technology, Surpetrol presented the package to Pemex, and the two companies have been working together ever since. “The combination of our value-adding service and its ability to lower production costs, along with the demands on Pemex from the CNH to carry out more well and production monitoring, meant that our business had an excellent opportunity to grow.”

Since the start of operations in Mexico in 2012, Surpetrol has carried out over 50,000 well tests. The wealth of knowledge that the company has gathered during its time working with Pemex has allowed the company to grow its list of services beyond well testing, as Ferreira explains. “Information on well productivity is key data needed to develop a production plan, or to understand the opportunities and limitations of a particular field. We gather this information on a large scale for Pemex, and following the interpretation of this data we can offer advice 

on how to increase productivity at its fields. By focusing on reservoir management and production optimization, companies like Pemex can start to maximize the value of its operations.”

One opportunity for Surpetrol came at Pemex’s Chicontepec region, where the company was providing well testing services. After understanding the productivity challenges at the field, Surpetrol suggested a new type of artificial lift to increase production: “Progressive cavity pumps are used in many fields around the world where heavy oil needs to be extracted, but this technology had never been tested in Mexico. We made an alliance with the industry leader in progressive cavity pumps, and brought the technology to Mexico to be introduced at Chicontepec,” Ferreira reveals.

At Samaria-Luna, Pemex is working to develop new heavy oil areas, which will bring additional opportunities for technology introduction for Surpetrol. “We are currently in the process of carrying out well tests for Pemex at the field, and we hope that there will be opportunities in the future to implement technologies designed to optimize production of heavy oil, such as cyclic steam injection, also known as Huff and Puff.” Ferreira explains that Surpetrol is the only company with the equipment to conduct well tests at wells that are utilizing steam injection technologies, as the temperatures are too high for conventional testing equipment to be effective. “There has been some interest from the companies providing steam injection technology to Pemex to cooperate on pilot projects, in order to offer integrated solutions to the NOC that can add more value than just presenting the technologies independently,” he says.

With expertise in Pemex’s Southern region, Surpetrol hopes that the introduction of integrated service contracts will present an opportunity to win more business in Mexico. Indeed, the company has already worked with Petrofac at Santuario and Magallanes, blocks awarded during the first round of ISCs, to provide well testing services. “We also hope to work with Grupo Diavaz at its Ébano-Pánuco project, because it is a mature field where production optimization will be a priority and well testing services will definitely be required. We also hope that technology such as progressive cavity pumps can be brought to the project in the longer term,” Ferreira explains.